How Maryland targeting transfer Both Gach is more complicated than it seems

Tyler Byrum
NBC Sports Washington

What if Maryland's men's basketball got the commitment of a high-value transfer and he never suited up in a game?

That could very well happen with the Terrapins in pursuit of Utah transfer Both Gach.

Gach is transferring from the Utes but has still kept his name in the NBA Draft process. One thing is clear, he just doesn't want to play at Utah next season. 

With Gach remaining in the draft process this late into the year, it could be unsettling for Maryland to pursue the 6-foot-6 wing with nothing guaranteed. There is no timeline on when the NBA's pre-draft process (the Combine and workouts) will begin - if they happen at all this year. Still, prospects have been able to experience some of the events that lead up to the draft. They've been allowed to get feedback and speak to teams via videoconference calls despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He's not a prospect that many analysts project to be drafted. But most fringe prospects have already decided to go back to school at this point in the process.

Mac McClung has withdrawn his name and transferred from Georgetown to Texas Tech. Florida's Andrew Nembhard is leaving the Gators after exiting the draft process. 

It doesn't mean Gach is staying in the draft. It doesn't mean he wouldn't be a good player at Maryland or any of the other schools he is exploring. 

It does mean Gach's situation is complicated. If College Park is where he commits, there is a chance he will be a Terp. There is also a chance he could go straight to the draft if the process restarts. There has been no deadline set by the NCAA to make a decision to return or go pro. He has no ties to the program to convince him to stay in school. Only one other transfer in this offseason is in the same spot as Gach right now, Alabama's Jordan Bruner's name is still in the draft after he just transferred from Yale. 

Gach's situation gets even more confusing considering he will likely have to sit a year out due to NCAA transfer rules.

Adding a player of Gach's ability would be great no matter the roster situation. In two seasons with the Utes, he showed great athleticism and command of the floor. He's most impactful in transition and an ability to knock down threes. His final season at Utah, he averaged 10.7 points at 39.7% and 25.0% from behind the arc. 

Maryland has more than enough wings with Eric Ayala, Darryl Morsell, Aaron Wiggins, and to an extent Donta Scott and Jarius Hamilton. All would likely be on the team still if Gach had to sit a season. He would just be another one that has decent control of his dribble. He's not a point guard but would likely be the second-best ballhandler behind Ayala in terms of non-freshman. 

Think of a player with the explosiveness of Wiggins but who also can create space for himself. 

Under normal circumstances, any program will gladly take a chance and have a scholarship available for a player with that much promise. This isn't a normal offseason - coronavirus or otherwise - for Mark Turgeon and his staff. With all their misses in the transfer portal, it is tough to say it has been a good one. 

What do the optics look like for the Terrapins if Gach chooses the NBA? Or worse yet, commits to Maryland only then to stay in the draft anyway? 

Is it worth the risk given the unknown? We'll just have to wait and see what Gach decides. 

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